March 8, 2013
Update (March 9): The Wolverines placed in a tie for 15th as a team following day two of competition. No Wolverines competed on Saturday.
Site: Fayetteville, Ark. (Randal Tyson Track)
Event: NCAA Indoor Championships (Day 1)
U-M Team Standing: T3rd (13 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 15 -- at USF Bulls Invitational (Tampa, Fla.), 9:30 a.m.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Michigan women's track and field distance medley relay of senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), freshman Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron), senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) raced to the national title on Friday (March 8) at the NCAA Indoor Championships inside Randal Tyson Track. It is U-M's fourth-ever NCAA crown in the race and first since 2005.
Addison settled in toward the back of the pack for the majority of the 1,200-meter and made a move into third place before handing the baton to Long, who maintained Michigan's position, and Smith took over in third place for the 800-meter leg. After holding on to third place, Smith made an aggressive move with 100 meters to go and took the lead for the Wolverines. Eccleston took the baton and continued to widen the gap between her and the rest of the pack, crossing the finish line with a 4:33-mile split and overall time of 10:56.46, to secure the national title for Michigan. The four Wolverines each earned All-America first team honors. The time edged the school-record setting time the relay ran last weekend at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (Saturday, March 6) of 10:56.66.
Junior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood), who qualified for the NCAA Championships in the long jump at a last-chance meet last weekend, continued her success, finishing sixth overall. She became the first long jumper in program history to earn All-America first team honors with her mark of 6.33 meters (20-9.25).
In the mile run, sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) finished seventh in heat one and 14th overall with a time of 4:43.43. She earned All-America second team honors for the second consecutive year in that event.
The Wolverines will now turn their attention toward the outdoor track and field season, which will kick off next Friday (March 15) at the UCF Bulls Invitational.
Team Standings (Top 10 after Day 1)
1. Kansas 20 2. UCF 14 3. Arizona State 13 MICHIGAN 13 5. Dartmouth 10 Arizona 10 Indiana State 10 Clemson 10 LSU 10 Texas A&M 10
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 1)
Mile Run 1. Amanda Winslow, Florida State 4:36.48 14. Shannon Osika, U-M 4:43.43 Distance Medley Relay 1. MICHIGAN 10:56.46 (Rebecca Addison, Maya Long, Jillian Smith, Amanda Eccleston) Long Jump 1. Andrea Geubelle, Kansas 6.55m (21-6) 6. Erin Busbee, U-M 6.33m (20-9.25)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Associate Head Coach Mike McGuire
On winning the national title in the DMR with three seniors on the relay ... "It means a lot to them, and I told them it will mean a lot more 10, 15, 20 years from now. The neat thing was that I got text messages from our 1994, 1998 and 2005 kids that were national champions in this event, so there is a lot of pride that goes into what we do with that event. Obviously, there are a lot of people connected to Michigan women's track that really share in that victory and when the kids hear that stuff, it means that much more to them."
On scratching in three individual events to go for the national title in the DMR ... "We volleyed back and forth with the idea for quite a while, but we made the decision to, rather than be All-American in two events, we decided 'let's be a national champion in one.' Amanda (Eccleston) not running that second race last weekend at Notre Dame, she just had that much more gas in her tank, and she needed it. She ran as courageous a leg as I've ever had anyone run for me in all the years I've been at Michigan. She got the baton in the lead but being stalked by the Villanova girl who has an outstanding kick, and she just kept her composure and kept the hammer down and broke her enough that we were able to prevail."
On the team's race execution ... "Becca (Addison) looked like a pin ball out there for a while, but she kept her composure. Her fastest lap was her first lap, but her second-fastest lap was her last lap, and it was really close to what she ran her first lap in. Part of it is that she's been here, and I think experience helps. She kept her composure, and she stayed hyper competitive. That set the table for the rest of the race, and then Maya (Long) did a solid job on her leg, and then Jill (Smith) closed out and gave Amanda the chance to ice the cake."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423